Access Restrictions

Before climbing any state highpoint, please check for any access restrictions. While most highpoints are on public land, some have restrictions such as quotas, hours, permits, etc. There are a few highpoints which are on privately-owned land; please respect the owner’s wishes. The following list indicates which peaks have some form of access restriction or are privately owned. You can also check at summitpost – usually under the Red Tape section.  While we try to maintain this list, you are advised to contact the relevant agency/owner to verify the status.

Alaska – It goes without saying that Mount McKinley requires lots of preparation. The climbing process is heavily regulated and they are considering quotas. For more info: https://www.nps.gov/dena/planyourvisit/mountaineering.htm

California – Entry into the “Whitney Zone” is heavily regulated. The quotas were reduced in 2001. If you want to camp on the mountain you need to enter a lottery stating your dates in February. If you just want to day hike you also need a permit. The permits are also in the February lottery and if you are planning on visiting on weekends in August you should apply then. The permits are more easily obtained for other days of the week. More info: https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/inyo/passes-permits/recreation

Hawaii – While Hawai’i is a drive up there are constantly battles over restricting access to the summit. Astronomers do not want you to driving up after dark. Limits have been imposed on the commercial group size that summit. Further, many car rental companies prohibit cars from driving on Saddle Road and the mountain.

Indiana – privately owned – Be careful about the kids and farm equipment.

Illinois – privately owned – The owners, the Wuebbels, have three firm rules for visitors: #1 No cars up in our lane, #2 No pets, and #3 No visitors after dark. In general the Wuebbels open access to the highpoint on the first full weekend of the summer months. Please check our “Events” page (or sidebar) for specific dates.

Kansas – privately owned – The owners have created a nice park. Be respectful!

Kentucky – privately owned – The Penn Valley Coal Company owns the summit and in an agreement since 1999 has permitted highpointers to access the summit only if they sign a liability waiver. You can download the waiver, fill it out and USmail it back to: Penn Virginia Resource Partners, L.P, Attn: Steve Looney, 7 Sheridan Sq, Suite 400, Kingsport, TN 37660-7451. If for some reason you cannot return it in time, please make sure you have it with you!

Louisiana – privately owned – You’re crossing private property as you walk past the church into the woods

Maine – Baxter State Park has very strict rules on access and quotas on the trails. You can find out more at: http://www.mainerec.com/baxter1.asp?Category=101&PageNum=101

Michigan – privately owned – The highpoint is owned by Meade Paper. They have spent thousands of dollars to grade the road and want you to park by a pond about a half mile from the summit.

Mississippi – privately owned – The highpoint is privately owned and there’s a cluster of antenna on the summit.

Nebraska – privately owned – The owners request a $5 donations. They also do not wish you to hike across its fields to the Colorado-Wyoming-Nebraska Tri-State marker. Respect the buffalo!!!

New York – The New York DEC is considering imposing quotas on Marcy and other high peaks. There are restrictions on group size and parking. Further, New York traditionally requests you do not climb the High Peaks during May and the first couple weeks of June to avoid damaging muddy trails. For more info check out: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9198.html

Ohio – privately owned – The highpoint is owned by the Hi Point Vocational School and is inside a gated compound. The compound is open during daylight on weekdays. However if you make prior arrangements the pedestrian gate on the left of the main gate will be left open. In order to make these arrangement you should call (937) 599-3010 on weekdays been 7 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Oregon – Mount Hood is currently a marginal yellow flag. Proposals are on the table to impose quotas. Currently, you only need a free self-issue permit. However, Hood can be extremely dangerous and it is advised that you only climb during the May to mid-July season. More info: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/mthood/home/?cid=FSEPRD526098&width=full

Vermont – Vermont has asked that you voluntarily not climb Mount Mansfield during May and the first week of June to avoid damaging soggy trails.

Washington – Rainier is considering closing its Paradise Parking Lot to climbers (climbers would have to be shuttled to and from the trailhead). Currently, the only official regulation is the $15 climbing fee. More info: https://www.nps.gov/mora/planyourvisit/climbing.htm